Different Takes: CDC Guidelines On Opening Schools Misses Key Strategy; Masks Can’t Save The Day
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic topics and others.
Why Isn't Ventilation Part Of The Conversation On Reopening Schools?
[I am] an epidemiologist, and after reading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for school reopening and the various accompanying news coverage and think-pieces, I can’t convince myself that following its rules will keep my family — or yours — safe. Why? Because the primary way Covid-19 is transmitted is through respiratory droplets that careen through the air, and yet the capricious nature of air circulation and the lack of filtration systems in our already underfunded public school systems is absent from the conversation. (Alexandra Feathers, 8/5)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Hidden Danger Of Masks
Face masks have become a cultural symbol. To resist them “is nothing more than selfish, libertarian nonsense masquerading as a comic-book defense of freedom,” Thomas Friedman of the New York Times proclaims. Yet the science is far less certain than the moralism. The question of how well masks prevent transmission and infection requires far more study. The decision to wear a mask would seem to be cost-free, apart from minor discomfort. But absolutism about masks and disregard for scientific uncertainties may promote a false sense of security that encourages risky behavior—including massive political protests. (Allysia Finley, 8/4)
Yes, We Need A Covid-19 Vaccine. But We Need New Treatments, Too
Hopes for a relatively quick return to normalcy are riding high on promising news about Covid-19 vaccines. Nearly 200 vaccines are in development worldwide. And with six of them already being tested in Phase 3 clinical trials, the possibility exists that a vaccine could be ready by the end of the year. (Karen Mulligan and Karen Van Nuys, 8/5)
The New York Times:
It’s Not Just You. We’ve All Got A Case Of The Covid-19 Blues.
I am trying to think of when I first realized we’d all run smack into a wall. Was it two weeks ago, when a friend, ordinarily a paragon of wifely discretion, started a phone conversation with a boffo rant about her husband? Was it when I looked at my own spouse — one week later, this probably was — and calmly told him that each and every one of my problems was his fault? (They were not.) (Jennifer Senior, 8/5)
The Washington Post:
Can Birx Keep Her Balance On The Trump Tightrope?
Deborah Birx went to the brink this weekend — and then back again. The coronavirus task force coordinator took some time out of her vacation to tell the truth Sunday, for which her reward from her boss was the single adjective “pathetic!” President Trump has now tempered this tweeted excoriation by insisting he has a “lot of respect” for the woman he publicly disrespected. The reality remains: No amount of gushing compliments or massaging statistics can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with this man. (Molly Roberts, 8/4)
Where Parents And Teachers Can Find Common Ground On Reopening Mass. Schools
We both believe — as do most parents and teachers — that in-person schooling has tremendous value largely because of the work that teachers do in the classroom. The real public health risks of not attending school are well documented: loss of learning, food and parental income insecurity, concerns over physical and emotional health, and the inequities in these outcomes along racial and socioeconomic lines. We also both believe in science. Real evidence supports systems and procedures that would allow us to get back to the classroom and keep risks low for students, teachers and staff. We disagree somewhat on which of these safeguards need to be in place to make the risk-benefit tradeoff of in-person school justifiable. (David DiPietro and Benjamin Sommers, 8/4)
Congress Must Invest In Education To Battle The Coronavirus Downturn
The coronavirus crisis has upended education and training at every level across the country. Elementary and secondary education is no exception. With another school year on the horizon and recent disruption that has set back learning and widened disparities, lawmakers must include sufficient funding for education in the next relief package. (Cindy Cisneros, 8/4)